Baseball is a game of opportunity and the second-ranked Florida State Seminoles took advantage of a couple of miscues by the University of South Florida to beat the Bulls 4-1 and sweep the two-game midweek series. Bulls ace Jimmy Herget took the loss after scattering eight hits in five innings of work. He stuck out five and allowed four unearned runs. He lowered his ERA to 0.38 for the season and evened his record at 2-2.
Lawrence Pardo would take over for Herget in the sixth and turned in three scoreless innings. Jordan Strittmatter pitched the ninth.
For FSU, Kenny Burkhead pitched an inning allowing one run. Bryant Holtmann got the win after pitching four shutout innings. Billy Strode completed two perfect innings and Gage Smith and Jameis Winston pitched the eighth and ninth innings, with Winston nailing down his second save of the season
After striking out Josh Delphi to start the game, Justin Gonzalez hit a fly ball to left that was misplayed Bulls left-fielder Luke Maglich. D.J, Stewart followed with a single to right field. With runners on the corners, John Nogowski grounded out to third and Gonzalez scored the games first run.
Jose Brizuela followed with an RBI single. Winston then had an RBI double off the right field wall. John Sansone singled to right to score Brizuela, making the score 4-0.
The Bulls answered back in their half of the first when Buddy Putnam singled home Kyle Teaf who led off the inning with a single, but that would be all the scoring the Bulls could muster. USF threatened in the fourth with two runners on an no outs, and again in the seventh when Nik Alfonso walked and Kyle Teaf followed with a single with two outs, but Michael Arencibia grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
USF hit into two double plays and left eight runners on base.
“I thought the key to the ball game was when we did a good job of getting out of a first and third situation with nobody out in the fourth without anyone scoring,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said “We were very fortunate to get out of that inning with no runs being scored.”
While Martin spoke of the Seminoles good fortune, USF head coach Lelo Prado lamented the teams missed opportunities.
“We dropped two fly balls. You’ve got to catch the ball and it’s a shame Herget is walking out of here with a loss,” Prado said. “We had plenty of opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them.
“They’re a good team and I said it before we started, ‘You’ve got to stay away from the big innings and you can’t give them extra outs,’” Prado added. “Today we gave them extra outs and they took advantage of it, that’s why they’re ranked No. 2 in the country.”
Florida State head coach Mike Martin was clearly happy with the win and was gracious in his praise for USF after the game.
“I am very proud of this baseball team,” Martin said. “We played a very good South Florida club. I was very impressed with them. We played solid baseball and got it done. We always know anytime you lineup against Lelo’s club you better not give them extra outs or they will take advantage of them. It was a good win for us, a good series win for us.”